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Bus crash father spared jail after suffering enough

Sat, 31 Oct 2015

Douglas Courthouse
Douglas Courthouse

A father who's been spared jail after admitting causing the death of his daughter has been told he's already suffered enough.

46-year-old Raymond French "momentarily" fell asleep behind the wheel on October 5th 2013 when he was driving his family along Shore Road near to the Ballakaighan junction.

His BMW drifted over the carriageway and crashed head on into an oncoming bus - 10-year-old Alexis died from "catastrophic" head injuries.

French pleaded guilty to causing her death by dangerous driving and causing serious bodily harm to the bus driver who described how he thought he was going to die.

At Douglas Courthouse yesterday the court heard how French had no recollection of the crash but was aware he was "very tired" admitting he should not have driven.

French himself suffered "life changing" physical and psychological injuries spending nine months in a UK hospital - he's now confined to a wheelchair and requires constant care.

His advocate told the court the family had a life "full of laughter and happiness" describing it as "one bad decision which has had catastrophic effect".

She said losing his daughter consumes "every moment of his life" pleading with the Deemster "Please don't send Mr French to prison - please allow the family to heal". 

Sentencing him Deemster Mongtomerie imposed a 12-month suspended sentence and disqualified him from driving for three years. 

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